Core is a huge buzz word in the fitness industry, but many people still don’t understand what ‘core’ means. Ask any number of professionals and you will get a generic answer along with a hand gesture around the abdomen area. This lack of knowledge compounds the confusion of how to train the core.
The core is actually EVERYTHING minus your arms and legs. Although the major muscles originate around the abdomen and the mid to lower back, core muscles also include the latissimus dorsi (the wing muscles on the side of the trunk), gluteus maximus (buttocks) and trapezius (broad flat muscle running from skull to neck to mid spine fanning out to shoulder blades and collar bone).
Your core’s job, in a biomechanics sense, is to provide stability and support to the torso and pelvis during movement. This is achieved by the tendons, muscles, and ligaments aligning the bones and joints in a correct safe manner. An example of a weak core would be if someone gently bumps into you and you find yourself almost falling to keep your balance, whereas a strong core would adjust to the stimulus and keep balanced.
The core is also challenged statically. Try standing still with your arms held out in front of you and let someone push on your arms in different directions while you try and remain still. The peripheral muscles of the arms may feel the push but it’s all those spinal, shoulder, and pelvic stabilising muscles that will be working to keep your posture aligned – go on, give it a try!
At BANDFIT we want you to understand how important strong core muscles are in maintaining an injury free body, both in a physical capacity i.e. sport and recreation, and in an occupational sense. The same core muscles help us to maintain correct posture and spinal/pelvic support during those dreaded computer desk-laden working hours, or even long periods spent gardening. Without proper core activation we are far more likely to develop aches, pains and injuries due to the lack of support, alignment, and stability through our pelvis, spine and shoulders. This in turn can lead to excessive over compensation and wear and tear to our extremity joints, such as knees and hips as well as strains to muscles and tendons.
Coming up – part 2